April 27, 2008

Free as in Speech.

Filed under: Uncategorized — numist @ 1:17 am
Tags: , , , , ,

In my music class, we recently watched Good Copy Bad Copy. It’s a decent documentary. One thing I really like about it is that it brings up some important concerns about the state of what I’ll refer to as the culture industry and copyright laws. I firmly believe that good solutions to problems can cross domains. The documentary, if you listen to what the recording industry people say when interviewed, sounds like it applies a lot to software, especially in the way that the products are so heavily controlled (it’s actually stifling to innovation, because you can never leverage your own solutions with someone else’s unless you have money or power), and American products are so widely pirated worldwide. It’s also similar in the way that small culture industries work in other countries. The artists don’t make money from records or movies, they make money for performances. While no one is going to pay to watch a programmer create an application, I believe there is a parallel solution for “indie” software.

Anyway, the part of the documentary that really got me was this

(13:05) In the US constitution … there is only one substantive area of law that was included in the constitution and that was protecting creators rights because the founding fathers of the US said that would be more determinative of about anything else as to how successful a country you have is if you have … people who would want to build things, make things and the theory was they wouldn’t do it unless you somehow protected that right.

(53:09) Clearly, people will not do things for free. It just defies human nature to believe that somebody will come up and they’ll paint a picture or do a statue and they’ll just give it away, I mean, yeah there might be a few people like that, but they probably don’t eat very well.

» Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA

Do you believe that? Because I don’t, and a lot of other people don’t as well. Including a bunch of companies. It’s so impressive to me that someone can actually be so closed-minded to the possibility of sustainable alternatives to a model, that it’s no surprise that the industry is dying. And they have no one to blame but themselves.

Peter Jenner, from Sincere Management has a pretty good handle on the situation. Look him up, or watch GCBC. Same with Lawrence Lessig, of Creative Commons.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi Scott –

    Thanks for the link to my post, and excellent analysis on Good Copy Bad Copy. My blog comes at it from the music angle, but it’s good to see things from the software angle too. I’m not sure the business is “dying” per se, but you’re spot on in saying those in the large music corporations need to seriously reassess their approach. There’s the balance between free innovation and protection of ideas. We’re nowhere’s near it right now, but we’ll get closer. Funny you mention Jenner too – I just posted an audio interview with him yesterday.

    Thanks again, and keep fighting the good fight.
    Andy on the Road

    Comment by Andy — April 27, 2008 @ 6:28 am | Reply

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